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Marriage and tattooed wedding rings are “forever”

Pictured is tattoo artist Drew Rogers’ favorite wedding ring tattoo that he made for his brother Jake. According to Drew, it’s Jake’s first and only tattoo. Submitted photo.

Michelle Hagler is no stranger to tattoos. She has several of them, some visible, some hidden. However, the one on her left ring finger can be seen when she removes her wedding ring set, and that’s what it’s all about.

Wedding ring tattoos aren’t the most sought-after product at Pure Ink Studio in Greenville, said ink artist Dean Rogers, who co-owns the company with wife Tasha Gregg-Rogers. It’s more like they serve a purpose.

Rogers’ typical ring customer is someone who has been married for a while and has trouble wearing regular rings. You will lose them or break them or have to remove them for work.

“They say, ‘I just want one that stays there and I can’t feel it,” said Rogers. “I guess it’s not about the tattoo at all. It’s literally a permanent ring, you don’t have to worry for it to fall off. Even though it’s a tattoo, I don’t think they see it that way. “

Pictured is Michelle Hagler’s wedding ring tattoo created by Dean Rogers of Pure Ink Studio in Greenville. Hagler decided on the tattoo after she couldn’t wear her wedding ring for a while.

Hagler, who lives in Lowell, is a case in point. She has gained weight and cannot wear her wedding rings for a while, she said. It would have been expensive to resize.

After that, Hagler began exercising regularly and had jobs that included physical labor. She didn’t want to risk damaging her rings. She tried silicone rings but found she had skin sensitivities and decided to get her ring tattoo about three years ago.

“It felt strange not having something in your hand after putting on an engagement ring for so long and the whole set for a couple of years,” she said, adding that she and her husband Jon were married for six years in July will celebrate. “My husband thought about it, but silicone rings work perfectly for him.”

Hagler knew she wanted “something minimal” because hand tattoos don’t last that long and the ink, especially small letters, can bleed. But she also wanted “a little more than a ring,” so she asked Drew to put a cross on her ankle, symbolizing her and Jon’s “Christ-centered” marriage.

“The ink fades quickly because you do everything with your hands every day,” she said. “Drew touched it up about a year ago. It held up really well, especially for a hand tattoo. “

“A little more than a ring” is what most women look for when they walk into the studio, Rogers said. He managed the delicate start of a ring, an initial, even a lace pattern with “pearls” that drape the finger towards the nail. One tattoo contained a small diamond that shimmered like a jewel in brilliant white ink.

“It looks elegant,” he said. “These are decorative in style.”

Men, on the other hand, tend to turn to the Celtic knot style, which is small and intricate. Drew usually starts with black ink, adding lighter grays for shadowing to “add dimension and depth,” and sometimes white ink for highlights, Rogers said.

Rogers designed a tattoo for his brother Jake, who works hard in the asphalt business. Between raking, putting on and taking off gloves, and sweating his hands, Jake forever breaks or loses his silicone rings in the gloves.

“For him, his first tattoo – and his only tattoo – is the wedding ring,” said Rogers.

Jake’s tattoo happens to be Rogers’ favorite too. He used lots of shades of gray to achieve the shading that he did, along with the black and bright white inks.

“It turned out pretty good. It’s like a Celtic design with knots falling over and under, ”said Rogers. “It looks like you can rub your finger over it and feel the grooves. It’s not overly shiny. “

Ring tattoos start at $ 80 to $ 100 depending on the design and the time the tattoo takes. A simple one can be done in an hour or less.

“You can’t speed this up because fingers aren’t something you want to move on quickly,” said Rogers. “You want to take your time.

Both Rogers and Hagler also recommend taking the time to develop a relationship and relationship with the tattoo artist. Bring some ring design ideas to the appointment and be open to the artist’s suggestions, they agreed.

“You see people all the time and they will have the knowledge and be able to help you decide what is the best option for you and what might best suit your body type,” Hagler said. “Make sure you trust your tattoo artist, and especially with something like a ring, it’s not necessarily a whim. You may not be happy with the results. “

Wedding ring tattoos aren’t for everyone, and both Rogers and Hagler encourage people who think about it to think about it seriously – and take it seriously – because like a marriage, it’s permanent.

“Be 100 percent sure because it’s forever. Tattoos are not easy to remove, ”said Rogers. “People should try to look at this when they commit to marriage: You can’t just take it off. You have to laser it and it’s such a painful process, just like a divorce, I’m sure. “

Hagler agreed. She and her husband share the same views about marriage and engagement, so their wedding ring tattoo made sense.

“It is the same for us to make a permanent commitment like marriage as if I put it permanently on my body,” she said. “It’s a personal choice, of course, but make sure you and your partner are on the same page.”

Pure Ink Studio is located in 5976 S. Greenville Road in Greenville. The studio is currently closed due to COVID-19. However, when it opens again, call 989-285-2027 to schedule an appointment.

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